Asset management coordinator Rocky Agbunag uses a Trimble ProXT GPS receiver and a Panasonic Toughbook CF18 tablet PC to collect the point location and associated data on an inlet in a St. Johns County neighborhood. A Trimble GeoBeacon, about midway up the GPS pole, enables in-the-field data processing. Photo: St. Johns County, Fla.
Construction of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., includes daily lane closures and road realignments. The city developed GeoCLEAR (inset) to interface with the GIS centerline database and display the most accurate and current street-related events, symbolized by type and status. Photos: City of Charlotte, N.C.
System Drives Financial Reporting

In 2006—a decade after the St. Johns County (Fla.) GIS Division launched a street centerline database—Public Works Director Joe Stephenson spearheaded a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) for asset management.

“Joe came from the Florida DOT where computerized work-order management was extensively used, so he knew where he wanted to take our department,” says Rocky Agbunag, the county's asset management coordinator.

Also, GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) Statement 34 had gone into effect in 2003, requiring state and local governments to move their accounting practices to a business accounting model. For public works departments, it meant inventorying, valuing, and reporting infrastructure assets.

GASB 34 compliance presented an ideal opportunity to pursue a CMMS.

At the time, different departments within the county were using a legacy system, a now-obsolete application built on a Prime Computer mainframe. While it was good in its day, the system had become fragmented and cumbersome to maintain. The county wanted to integrate with GIS, so using a geodatabase platform was an important foundation for the asset inventory.

The department hired efficiency consultant LA Consulting to help evaluate workflow and best practices. Woolpert Inc. used the findings to assess a variety of work-order software packages that would best meet St. Johns' needs. Concurrently, the street centerline was enhanced with updated asset data.

For its CMMS, the department chose Azteca's Cityworks because of its GIS-centric approach, with maintenance occurring through a single database, and also because the software enables performance-based budgeting.

Before the Cityworks implementation, “we used to be all about the paper—paper maps, paper work orders,” Agbunag says. “Now, it's all electronic, which is fast, efficient, and also better environmentally. This has literally changed workflow.”

Department supervisors use the CMMS to track work orders, manage costs, determine what revenue sources to use and how much, analyze the amount of resources used, and determine if adjustments in allotted resources should occur.

As a result, the department's ability to quickly and cost-effectively complete activities—including mowing, ditch cleaning, repaving, striping, traffic sign maintenance, and stormwater structures maintenance—has been significantly improved.

The CMMS project was funded through St. John's capital improvement program.

From a GASB 34 standpoint, the department now conducts an annual report of performance-based budgeting using the system. “We know the value of our assets,” says Agbunag. “We know where we should be making improvements. We use the system to easily determine where we need to apply our efforts, and we can build the case to upper management for appropriate funding.”

— Cattran is vice president, director of, and Rodriguez is project director, Enterprise Information Management, at Dayton, Ohio-based Woolpert Inc.

On the dotted line

One of the first county-city technical agreements in South Carolina was written and ratified, first by Horry County and North Myrtle Beach, and then by Myrtle Beach, Conway, and Surfside Beach.

The agreement spells out data security, virus protection, maintenance standards, and editing roles/responsibilities for the signatories. It allows Horry County to hold the master license for the ESRI enterprise system as well as the Azteca City-works asset and work-order system package that was chosen for its GIS-centricity

This saved on multiple license fees while eliminating duplicative efforts.

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